It’s 45*C in Sydney.
Things that dancers just need to get over wrt live bands:
- Long songs. Just deal, yo. You don’t have to dance the whole thing. And you don’t have to dance two songs with each partner.
- Songs that start slow, then get faster after the intro. It’s not that big a deal.
- Fast songs. You don’t have to dance the whole thing, and you don’t have to dance every song. Get some fitness, get some small dancing happening, get over yourselves.
- A band’s songs all ‘sounding the same’. Geezus. They’re a BAND not a DJ. They got a thing going on: get used to it.
Things that bands need to figure out if they want to play gigs organised by and for dancers:
- Dancers like songs that are about 3 minutes long. This is because they’re usually used to dancing to CDs. Technology enforced this 3 minute rule. Suck it up. You can play your long songs, yo, but if you play lots of really long, really fast songs, the dancers will eventually all sit down. SCIENCE, BRO.
- Not everyone in the band needs a solo. Unless your band is made up of the Esquire All Stars, you’re probably not that good. Sorry, mates, but that’s how it is. This isn’t a democracy: it’s jazz. Even if you are that good, I’m not convinced you’ve always got something to say.
- Dancers aren’t seated audiences. They’re not listening to the music the way seated audiences are. They’re riding their adrenaline, and their appreciation for your art is going to be tempered by their physical abilities. This means:
- If you play all super fast songs, and all super long songs, your dancing crowd is going to die. Work the tempo wave, yo.
- Dancers are jocks, pretty much. They’re not going to appreciate that complicated, noodly bit of low-energy, finger-fiddling bit of solo that goes on for four phrases. Stop that. It’s wankery. Get your head up, look at the room and not at your fingers. Work the crowd.
- Engage the crowd. Yeah, you’re an artist. But right now you’re playing for dancers. Make some eye contact. Pay attention to what you see, and learn to understand what you see. The communication between dancers and audiences isn’t verbal. It’s non-verbal. Dancers learn to dig what you’re doing, so you learn to dig what they’re doing. Then we can all be a TEAM.
- Long bass solos are boring. Sorry, Ray Brown, but four phrases of subsonic twiddling = dull dancing. Stop it.
- Dancers are unlikely to clap your solo. Sorry mates. But they’ll let you know they’re listening with the way they move.